While hosting business friends in London and driving to an appointment in Wimbledon, we stopped to check our route at an Estate Agency. The amazing assistance given was a wonderful example of thoughtfulness for others. The agent eagerly explained the best route and even gave us a good quality laminated map of the area.
One of my Australian friends navigated the way expertly using this kind gift. Some of the road signs were unfamiliar to my colleague from “down under”. However, we made good progress and found the business centre. There we met another business colleague who heads up an international initiative.
The right help – at the right time – with cheerfulness and generosity.
Taking off at 6am from London Heathrow offers its challenges. I thought I had everything worked out through an online travel site. I set out en route to the airport from Bromley in Kent. Reaching Croydon, I waited at the correct stop for a bus that would take me to the airport according to the travel website. After sometime, while getting colder by the minute, I decided that some error had taken place and began to explore alternative routes. The early hours of the morning are not such a good time for this. However, I met a young couple and they, with the assistance of their iPhone, looked up another website . They gave me a good route to the airport.
The bus driver had a further modification that took me through Trafalgar Square to Heathrow. It was a twisiting route servicing the larger factories and busineses for staff on shifts. There were one or two “colourful” incidents on the bus but we made it safely. I was in good time for my flight. This incident reminded me that one cannot totally rely on websites. They are so dependent on the accuracy of the operators who manage the data and faithfully update it. A further good idea would be to ensure one has an alternative route or two.
Tips on giving and receiving directions
When giving directions…
- Ensure that you listen carefully and ask any confirmatory questions
- Seek to establish if the person knows any landmarks in the area
- Be as precise as possible
- Use landmarks that are clear for the traveller to see
- Confirm the number of junctions or roundabouts to pass
- Perhaps good to indicate a landmark which is beyond the required destination.
When asking for directions…
- Give a few details about yourself – “I’ve never been here before” etc
- Be cautious when visiting cultures in which to assist and please the guest is a priority. Directions can sometimes be “colourful” but not always in focus to use a photographic analogy!